‘All i’m asking for is a measly two metres’ - resident battles contractor over lamppost

Wicken resident Charles Avey, with the lampost outside his driveway,

Wicken resident Charles Avey, with the lampost outside his driveway, - Credit: Archant

A homeowner says a lamppost that has been erected outside of his house has made it more dangerous for him to use his driveway.

Charles Avey, of High Street, Wicken, says the new lamppost has reduced visibility from his driveway by “up to two metres” and he fears it could lead to an accident when driving.

The lamppost was moved into its new home outside Mr Avey’s house from its original position on the opposite side of High Street by contractor Balfour Beatty, which is working on behalf of Cambridgeshire County Council.

In order to save money, the county council has asked the company to remove 6,000 street lights across the county, with many others replaced with new, more efficient versions.

Mr Avey said: “We have not had an accident using our driveway before, touch wood, but this new lamppost makes it more likely to happen. It’s just not as safe as it was before they decided to do what they did.”

Mr Avey said he has been in contact with Balfour Beatty, and even enlisted the help of Wicken Parish Council and Councillor Hamish Ross, but to no avail.

He said: “They [Balfour Beatty] offered to move the lamppost even closer to my driveway but the last thing I want is to have it closer.

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“I asked them if they would considering moving it further away by two metres but they refused and told me it would have to stay where it is. All I’m asking for is a measly two metres.”

According to Mr Avey, Balfour Beatty moved the lamppost across High Street because it was too close to power lines in its original position.

A spokesman for Balfour Beatty said: “We listen to the concerns of residents and try to accommodate these wherever possible, however A1123 High Street in Wicken is a ‘traffic route’ and needs to be lit to a British Safety Standard, which is a legal requirement on busy roads.

“When we upgraded the street lights in Wicken we had to move the lamppost across the road to its new position outside number 38 because of overhead power lines which were too close to the old post, and would have been a safety risk. We installed the new lamppost 11 metres from the end of the resident’s driveway, which is the farthest we could put it while still meeting the safety standards for lighting traffic routes.”